Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Ayers ad to end all Ayers ads

Not, unfortunately, produced by the McCain campaign but by Kathy Shaidle and The Nose on Your Face. The McCain campaign should take this, polish it a little and run with it from now until November 4.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Some talking points for McCain

Jonah Goldberg at NRO was asking for readers' thoughts on what McCain should do in the next two debates. I planned to fire off a quick email, and ended up with a pamphlet – I've been turning these ideas over for a while now, so I may as well put them out there.

I can't believe that no-one in the McCain campaign is thinking about this stuff – and sure enough it appears they're ready to 'take the gloves off' – but going on previous form I think they need all the help they can get.

1. At some point, and perhaps several times, Obama will try to link McCain to Bush. McCain should respond along these lines:

"You're desperate to connect me to President Bush aren't you senator? Well let's get something straight right now: I've had my disagreements with President Bush, and they've been well-documented. But the President is a decent and honorable man who loves his country, and what a lot of people seem to be forgetting is that he has kept this country safe from terrorist attack for seven years (emphasis), something that no-one believed was possible in the aftermath of 9/11. The President has been demonised by you and your fellow Democrats, and by your cheerleaders in the mainstream media, but I will not (emphasis) disown him for the sake of political expediency; that, Senator Obama, is your game, as you've shown by your attempts to disassociate yourself from the terrorist Bill Ayers, who plotted to murder American soliders, the racist preacher Jeremiah Wright, the convicted fraudster Tony Rezko and the other radicals and extremists who helped you get where you are today."

2. As lots of people are saying, with the bailout bill safely passed McCain should go on the attack over Fannie and Freddie, and the CRA (although I appreciate that there's a 'racial sensitivity' issue there). Specifically, McCain should point out that Obama voted against tougher regulation of F&F, then ask Obama:

"Why don't you tell the American people how much money you got from Freddie and Fannie?"

If he dissembles McCain should say: "If you don't tell them, I will." When Obama continues to dissemble, as he surely will, McCain should say (preferrably over the dissembling):

"You took almost $130,000 senator. And now you're returning the favour by pretending Fannie and Freddie had nothing to do with this crisis."

He should say that Democrats "took the money and looked the other way", although perhaps without saying Obama did so. Of course he should also bring up Johnson and Raines: "Far from calling for Jim Johnson to be punished senator, you rewarded him by putting him in charge of the committee to select your running mate!"

3. Related, he should bring up the Acorn connection, pointing out that Obama helped to train and fund the radical groups who pressured (intimidated? shook down?) the banks into giving loans to unqualified borrowers. He should say something like:

"Wall Street certainly takes much of the blame, but so should the Democrats who looked the other way, and so should you and your radical friends who were there right at the start of this thing."

He should also bring up Annenberg, make the Ayers connection again, and talk about the $100 million for improving schools that was diverted to Acorn and other radical groups.

See Stanley Kurtz's NYP story for more on the above if you haven't already.

4. McCain should point out all the instances of Obama saying one thing to get the nomination, and another thing once he got it. He should deride Obama's claims to have 'worked across the aisle'. And if push comes to shove, McCain should confront Obama on ideology. He should call him a socialist:

"You know senator, you've come a long way without ever telling the American people what you really stand for - nobody really knows, and I think the American people deserve to hear exactly what you believe. If you believe that socialist policies are best for America, you should have the courage of your convictions and say so, instead of hiding behind all this talk of hope and change and bipartisanship. You have the right to propose whatever policies you want senator, but what you don't have the right to do is insult the intelligence of the American people by pretending that those policies amount to anything other than bigger, costlier and more intrusive government. And that, senator, is called socialism."

5. Related, when Obama starts riffing on 'hope' (or even if he doesn't), McCain should say:

"You talk a lot about hope senator. Well I believe the American people deserve to be given more than 'hope' (derisively). They don't want 'hope'. They want assurances, they want specifics, they want certainty. They need to know that their leaders are going to help them, not hold them back, by cutting taxes and by giving them the freedom to raise their families and run their businesses in the way they see fit."

He could add that the Democrats have been "peddling hope" in America's biggest cities for decades, and what has the result been? Rising crime, failing schools and broken families (implicitly pitching to black voters here).

"I want to replace the Democrats' culture of dependancy with a culture of responsibility."


"Likewise, America's friends around the world need more than 'hope'. The people of Iraq need to be assured that the next President of the United States won't abandon them just so he can pander to extremist elements within his party. The people of Georgia, Ukraine and other former Soviet republicans need to know that the United States will stand with them in the face of Russian aggression. And oppressed peoples around the world need assurance too. The people of Iran, Venezuela and Cuba need to know that the dictators who control their countries and harbour terrorists won't be given legitimacy, and a propaganda coup, in the shape of a visit from the US President."

6. McCain should bring up the attempts by the Obama campaign to shut down discussion of his past by bombarding radio stations with protest calls, and threatening radio and TV stations that run anti-Obama ads with legal action.

"Is this what you mean when you talk about a new kind of politics senator? Threats, intimidation and bullying tactics? If that's the case I think I'd rather stick with the old politics."

"What is it you're afraid of?"

Any more suggestions welcome. And if someone from the McCain camp happens to stumble across this, feel free to copy and paste into Mac's teleprompter software. Hell, you can even take credit for it.

Saudi cleric calls for veils with one eye slit

…because seeing both a woman's eyes makes the guys sooooo horny!

From the BBC:

A Muslim cleric in Saudi Arabia has called on women to wear a full veil, or niqab, that reveals only one eye.

Sheikh Muhammad al-Habadan said showing both eyes encouraged women to use eye make-up to look seductive.

The question of how much of her face a woman should cover is a controversial topic in many Muslim societies.

The niqab is more common in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, but women in much of the Muslim Middle East wear a headscarf which covers only their hair.

Sheikh Habadan, an ultra-conservative cleric who is said to have wide influence among religious Saudis, was answering questions on the Muslim satellite channel al-Majd.

I can see his point – I came over all hot and bothered just looking at the photo that accompanies the story, and had to take a cold shower.

But surely this would make it difficult for the women to drive, or watch a movie… hang, on though, they're not allowed to do those things anyway are they? So that's OK then!

And why stop at one eye-slit? Why not have no slits at all? There are already versions of the niqab that have a mesh grille instead of slits, but while this might stop the men from thinking impure thoughts, it does have the disadvantage of allowing the women to see out, which means they could easily be corrupted if they were to cast eyes on one of those hot, 400-pound Saudi man-babies.

Why don't they just seal up all the holes, and mount a radar on the top so the women don't bump into things – like bats! Or give them guide dogs. Or to be on the safe side, why not just keep them chained up in the cellar?

The BBC – the web's one-stop-shop for all your 'Aren't those Muslims whacky?' stories. Just remember not to get judgmental, because who are we to say they haven't got it right?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Why Republicans should pass the bailout bill

Bill Kristol makes a good case. His conclusion:

So House Republicans should help pass the bill. I think it's the only responsible thing to do in terms of the economy. But I also think it's the only way McCain has a chance to win. To those House Republicans who care about conservative principles, about limited government and free markets--I'd ask this: How much damage will a president Obama and a Democratic Congress do to the causes you care about? Electing McCain gives us the best shot at solving this crisis in a way that doesn't lead to a permanent and perhaps irreversible expansion of the size and scope of government. Following up on Sarah Palin's victory, principled House conservatives should vote yes tomorrow. Passing the bailout would give McCain a fighting chance to win, which in turn provides the best chance--the only chance--for conservative principles to prevail in the next few years.

A couple of shots that Palin missed

Palin did great tonight, but she was so focused on getting her own talking points across that she missed a couple of great chances to nail Biden.

1. When Biden talked about there being '7,000 madrassas' on the Afghan/Pakistan border, and said we should be building schools instead, Palin could have replied, "Actually Joe, madrassas are schools, and what with Afghanistan and Pakistan being Muslim countries, if we build non-religious schools there we'd have a pretty hard time finding kids to go to them." (Expect Palin would have said "go to 'em", in that endearing Frances-McDormand-in-Fargo voice).

2. When Biden repeatedly lied about Obama's pledge to meet unconditionally with the bad guys, Palin should have said "Hey, Joe, I can show you the video on YouTube. And then I'll show you the video in which you say 'No clean coal here - send it to China'."

But overall a great performance, comfortably exceeding most people's expectations. Too bad she only has a few weeks in which to keep improving. Imagine what she could be like if she had a few months…